• In the case of Eastwood v Kenyon 1840 11 AD&E 483 QB, the contract law rule of past performance is not consideration was laid down.
  • A promise to compensate or pay for a past performance is purely gratuitous.

Facts of the Case

  • Here, C was the guardian of a lady under the age of 21.
  • C took loans to educate and rase her with the D (the girl’s husband) promising to repay those loans.
  • D refused to pay and as a result, C sued for a breach of contract

Issues in Eastwood v Kenyon 1840 11 AD&E 483 QB

  • Did the promise to repay the loans amount to consideration even as the detriment had already taken place.

Held by Court of Queen’s Bench

  • Claim failed.

Lord Denman CJ 

  • Held that no valid consideration was given for the promise as the consideration was in the past.
  • “Taking then the promise of the defendant, as stated on this record, to have been an express promise, we find that the consideration for it was past and executed long before, and yet it is not laid to have been at the request of the defendant, nor even of his wife while sole (though if it had, the case of Mitchinson v. Hewson (7 T. R. 348), shews that it would not have been sufficient), and the declaration really discloses nothing but a benefit voluntarily conferred by the plaintiff and received by the defendant, with an express promise by the defendant to pay money.”[Conclusion]